Issues with the Practice Management Exam

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    Ryan NCARB (Edited )

    Hey Darguin!  First, congrats on being one of our very first testers.  There are a lot of things here to respond to and some of them seem directed to NCARB, but others jump in too.

    1.) Yes, the check-all-that-apply items (CATA) allow you to select as many choices as you want -- but the item will always state the number required.  The ARE 5.0 Demo Exam functions in this way also.  Checking more or less than the stated number does not give partial credit.  It is similar to the way in a hot spot, you can click anywhere in a drawing, but there is only one right answer.

    2.)  Timing is something we will continue to watch as a fairness issue.  The timing established currently is based on real data from ARE 4.0 administrations for MC, CATA, and QFIB items and from specific timing data studies on the other item types and case studies.  And then it is was padded a bit more.  But like I said, we will continue to watch this!

    3.)  The case studies are not about speed, but about using the appropriate provided resources to answer the items correctly.  Part of the assessment is knowing which of the resources the needed information is found in, or which resource takes precedence.  As a sole practitioner, all of the items on the exam - including case study items - are things that you are individually responsible for.

    4.) The extra set of questions are the exit survey questions, similar to the ones at the end of an ARE 4.0 division.  Six of them for ARE 5.0.  All are required to be answered, but they have absolutely no impact on your score.

    THIS video may help as you prepare for your next division.

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    Darguin Fortuna (Edited )

    1) Well, that to me and perhaps many others is deceiving. I am certain my peers would agree. 

    2) The real data from ARE 4.0 does not take into account the amount of thinking that these issues require. I know of peers who could have gone through the ARE. 4.0 exam at least twice with enough time to review things because of the clear cut between right and wrong. Here there is not a clear cut between right and wrong there are many rights and almost little just plain wrong. This is about decisions on liability, legal matters which in real life you would hire and lawyer to help you out with. Some others you just have to truly, truly think in deep. I love the questions dont get me wrong on that part. I do love them but I want to be assets on the quality of my decisions not on the time taken to make them, in business the rule of thumb is review, review, take your time, think things through, are we covered? is everyone covered?, rushed decisions about these topics will be wrong by default.

    3) I would argue again that the case studies get overwhelming opening a window and then having a calculator and then having to go back to read the questions and then take notes on paper to combine all of this information to generate an answer with a crazy amount of pop up windows. I might have passed the exam but the thing is that I knew all of those answers from my practice experience (And studying), I knew them for sure the problem was time to answer them. 

    Those this exam have built in time to be able to review any of the marked for review? Does it have time to double check that the math adding all numbers was good at least twice. I have to do math twice per each math related problem since the calculator is not the most useful app. I cannot trust I clicked the right thing. 

    4) I see. I was not expecting them. 

    New question:

    5) How long do I have to wait to get my results? How are we doing with the 600 candidates? Am I one of those 600?

     

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    Darguin Fortuna

    I have a question also regarding an specific item that I encountered and have exhaustive knowledge of but there were two possible answers that could have indeed been correct and after reviewing the Handbook I am still uncertain of which answer would have been the most appropriate. A firm owner who had been involved with many contract liability issues would have answered it one way and a firm owner who is very very in need of projects would have answered it another way. Which role do we assume? Please be advised I am trying my best not to disclose any specific question item but more the approach to questions that depending on your frame of reference you would answer differently.

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    Jeffrey Giuggio

    Darguin,

     

    What resources did you use when prepping for the Practice Management Exam?  I am taking it Dec 9.

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    Darguin Fortuna

    I used the AHPP and used an online course on Pluralsight.com by Kevin Griendling and the handbook that NCARB generated as well as the Demo Exam. most of these resources will give you a good fighting chance. Now although NCARB does not suggest that you focus on the question and that rather focus on the content I would argue that once you have studied a lot. I mean A LOT. Go back to the demo exam and NCARBs handbook and get familiar with NCARBs approach to answering questions. They are very tricky and I would argue very deceaving even when you know the content very well.

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    Jeffrey Giuggio

    i have been studying for about 3 months.  I read all 3 resource books and the handbook for practice management. I have also been using pluralsight.  i hope it is enough. thank you for your input.

     

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    Darguin Fortuna

    You should be good to go. Good luck! Print out the B-101, B-102, C-401 and A-101 Contracts. not sure I typed them correctly but just print all Agreements that NCARB has suggested and use them and understand them well enough to know when something ain't right. NCARB has truly given us all the resources we need but the questions required a bit more than knowing the content. You have to assume NCARBs frame of reference using their rationale.

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    Ryan NCARB

    Darguin...you mentioned a lot of different things here, so again, I will try and answer them.  If I miss something, just let me know.

    First, yes you are one of the first 600 in Practice Management -- the new exam has only been live for a week!  You will still be waiting for your score report though until we complete the cut score, likely 8-10 weeks.  That time frame all depends on how quickly we get to 600 test administrations.  We will be sending you regular updates on progress via email.

    Regarding the specific item in question, without your having your results in front of me, I cannot comment on it.  It is also not really worth worrying about much until a cut score is established.  Not all of the items you took are scored items; some of them are pretest items and have no impact on your score.

    Last thing I'll touch on is we try not to write items that are meant to "trick" anyone or that are "deceiving."  Those types of items don't do a good job of determining competency.  Our item writers work very hard to create good items that can assess knowledge at the appropriate cognitive level.  Sometimes that may include items with plausible but still incorrect options, but you will always have everything you need as far as facts and relevant context to answer an item correctly.

    Hope this helps.

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    Jeffrey Giuggio

    Darguin,

     

    I noticed you said you used Pluralsight as a resource, was it a good resource and was the content close to what the exam consisted of?

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    Darguin Fortuna

    Yes, but please actually practice those different elements, practice actually understanding theoretical cases where you need to make decisions upon the given data on the course. You must almost become so familiar with the material that you know what's wrong by instinct. The course is missing some of the Staff management or human resources so I would not use the course as the one place to go but as the place to develop a feel for these things. It is hard to explain. 

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    Richard Wilson (Edited )

    Black Spectacles: good quality, clean and concise format, and consistent. AIA discounts are available with a promo code, if you're a member.

    • Don't purchase this subscription. The content doesn't align with the ARE 5.0 exam. I subscribed to Black Spectacles (B.S.) to prepare for PcM and PjM. After completing my second ARE under 5.0, I've realized that these video lessons did not align with the exam content.

    See Study Strategies for other useful resources.

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    Darguin Fortuna (Edited )

    Hi Richard I got an email with a post of yours saying that Cost plus Fixed Fee wasnt a delivery method and I cant see the post in here but from what I know you are absolutely right about that. There are things I have taken as offered by NCARB and have not really questioned them as much since I know they are making our test experience a lot better but we should all really question the rationales and the answers to certain items which are hard to really answer correctly unless NCARB tells us. Meaning you would not pick the right answer from any prof. Experience since the answers are a little vague.

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    Richard Wilson (Edited )

     

    Thanks Darguin. I had found 2 graphs in the Handbook of Prf Practice that included the cost plus fixed fee in a column with delivery methods. So I deleted my comment.
     
    It doesn't change the fact that NCARB mixed two different types of items in one question.
     
    My confidence approaching the exam is reduced though. I can't be sure that the info I studied will be accurate on the exam - know what I mean? But yes - technically speaking, Cost plus Fixed Fee is not a project 'delivery type', it's a fee structure. So the attached screenshot is technically incorrect... But, we are not the gatekeepers.


     

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    Darguin Fortuna

    Richard,

    From my experiences with both Practice Management and Project Management I will say that the material NCARB is telling you to study is indeed covered on the exams. The mindset I would argue will help you is to truly understand the content as it applies to you from the particular position or point of view of a principal or PM as required. Honestly go through the different scenarios in which you would need the content to respond to real cases. Most of which we by default have been exposed to at our oficces but maybe with limited depth.

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    Nick NCARB

    Richard,

    Thank you for your comments! According to the Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, cost plus fixed fee is a variation of the design-bid-build delivery method. I would recommend checking out this resource and using it in your preparation for the Practice Management division of the ARE. 

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